Dooley continues to be impressive

HOOVER, Ala. - Derek Dooley appears to get better with each press conference. You can say he is learning on the job, or he is just relaxing and allowing the media to get to know him. He put on another impressive outing in his first SEC Media Day.

Doing the little things right is important for anyone seeking success.

Derek Dooley is learning this firsthand as the new head coach of the University of Tennessee.

Dooley, who started out a little shaky with the local and national media when he first arrived in Knoxville, continued to show great improvement in that area Friday morning at his first appearance at SEC Media Days.

"First, let me say it's a honor and a privilege to be the head coach at the University of Tennessee," Dooley said in his opening statement. "I feel very fortunate and excited about being here."

Dooley met with some of the local media prior to his first official appearance, allowing a closer, more intimate look at his program.

"He is definitely winning the media over," one veteran Knoxville sportswriter acknowledged. "He is letting the media get to know him a lot better. Everyone is liking what they are seeing."

DOOLEY EXPLAINS WHY HE IS HAVING SUCCESS FOLLOWING THE RULES

When asked about the advantages of being a trained lawyer while also being the head coach at Tennessee, Dooley responded that it helps him when reading the NCAA rule book.

"That rule book was written by lawyers so I can read it and understand it a lot better than I might be able to do otherwise," Dooley said.

It appears that Dooley does have a grasp of the rule book, as no secondary violations have been reported officially so far in his short tenure.

DOOLEY SURPRISED ABOUT QUESTIONS ABOUT TWO PEOPLE IN HIS LIFE

"I can't believe how many questions I get about what clothes my parents are wearing or going to wear," he said, adding that everyone seems more concerned about what they are going to do.

"I'm amazed by how many questions I get about them. Dad may not be wearing orange yet, but I promise you he is thinking orange a lot. Give me some time in that area," Dooley said with a laugh.

VETERANS NEED TO PLAY WELL, AMONG OTHER THINGS

Tennessee needs its veteran players to perform well on and off the field, he said.

"It's as much Nick Reveiz's fault what happened with the bar incident than it was with the guys that were there," Dooley said. "It's everyone's responsibility in our locker room to influence and make sure everyone on our team is doing the right thing.

"We need our veteran players to show up on the field also. We need them to perform well and be difference makers on the field. We are depending on great things from all our older guys."

DOOLEY GETS A LOT OF ADVICE FROM MENTORS

"My father gives me a lot of advice," Dooley said. "He knows how important things are at this level, including the little things. I sometimes feel like he is over me like when I was a 11 year old Little League player. I get a lot of advice from him, he knows what it takes to be successful in this league.

"I have a great relationship both professionally and personally with Nick Saban. We talk a lot, I have learned a lot from several guys that have influenced my life and career."

LUKE STOCKER ON AGENT SITUATION

"One thing that I do is not answer any numbers that I don't recognize," Luke Stocker said. "A few have called me and I have told them thanks for calling that I didn't need an agent and when I do I will let them know. I just don't talk to them. That's the easiest way to handle that."

DOOLEY ON AGENTS

"It's a behavior choice," he said. "It's just like being approached by a drug dealer - you either choose to buy what he is selling and do drugs or choose not to buy what he is selling.

"There are rules and guidelines just like we have in recruiting. Agents are trying to recruit young men to their organization just like we do when recruiting them to our programs. The difference is that we have stricter guidelines to follow. If we violate the rules in recruiting we get punished. There has to be that on the agent side as well."

DOOLEY ON LANE KIFFIN

"No, I haven't spoke with Coach Kiffin since arriving, don't read too much into that, I just don't know him," Dooley said. "I did reach out to Coach Johnny Majors and Coach Phil Fulmer because of what they achieved at the University of Tennessee and what they mean to this university.

"I have so much respect for what they did at UT and what they will always mean to the traditions of UT. They will always be a part of our program and the Tennessee family."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories